TAMPA — Marvel actor and former WWE star Dave Bautista has taken to social media over the last few days, blasting the city of Tampa for what he says is a frustrating process of getting power hooked up for additions to his Port Tampa-area home.
City inspectors say there are specific technical and safety issues at stake, like a generator Bautista’s contractor installed in a flood zone.
“Our permitting process is designed to protect the public,” said city spokesman Adam Smith. “We work with all Tampa residents to help move their projects forward, and first and foremost ensure the safety of the applicants, their families and their neighbors.”
Bautista, best known for playing Drax the Destroyer in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, owns a nearly 4,000-square-foot home. It sits on two and a half acres in the neighborhood near MacDill Air Force Base in Port Tampa.
Bautista built a new garage and pool and is trying to get electricity wired into his property additions and becoming frustrated. He said in an Instagram video that he has spent seven months going through the bureaucracy with no luck.
“I have invested in this community and I cannot seem to get the answer to how many bureaucrats do I have to deal with to get power?” Bautista said in a video posted Wednesday. “I spent 40 grand last week on a wire the city of Tampa said I needed and still they are going to have another meeting after the last meeting for a garage and swimming pool that I can’t finish until the city of Tampa gives me power.”
He also took to Twitter, saying he has spent thousands maintaining city-owned property around his own.
When a Twitter follower who planned to visit Tampa asked for restaurant recommendations, he replied: “Anyone with power. Which means you won’t be visiting my place @CityofTampa.”
Tampa Bay Times reporter Christopher Spata described Batautista’s house in a 2019 profile.
“Bautista’s fortress-like house — gray, split-block, with actual flaming torches on the outer walls — is in the blue-collar neighborhood of Port Tampa, close enough to MacDill Air Force Base to hear the trumpets playing reveille each morning and the Star-Spangled Banner at night.”
This is not the first time Bautista has vented about the city to his millions of social media followers. In 2018, he took to social media to complain about the hassle it took to install a gate on the property. He said he was “waiting on permits, spending thousands and thousands of dollars on surveys ... jumping through hoops, etc.”
On that issue, the city’s official account responded directly. “Hello Dave, we apologize for any frustration. Can you please DM us the address and tracking/permit numbers so we can look into this?”